ASIA/PAKISTAN - Asia Bibi’s appeal process does not start because of "orders" received

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - The case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, is "a very sensitive case and of high profile: the administration of the Lahore High Court - where the appeal process should start - has received "orders not to schedule hearings for the moment and we do not know for how much longer". This is what the lawyer, Sardar Mushtaq Gill told Fides, who in past days was in close contact with the administration of the court, together with the other lawyer, S.K. Choudhry. This explains, therefore, the continuous postponement of the first hearing of the appeal, the last of which occurred on May 27, when the hearing suddenly disappeared from the list of cases under discussion.
As reported to Fides, the lawyers are looking for a legal way to unlock the case and are looking into the possibility of asking for an official clarification to the President of the High Court, to ensure that justice is done to the woman. One avenue, they refer to Fides, is to appeal to Art. 561/of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which confers "special powers" to a Court, to prevent or correct obvious injustices and abuses committed by other courts. Another possibility, however, is the application of Art. 426 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, asking for the suspension of the sentence and the release of the applicant on bail. "We will do everything in our power so that justice is done", said the lawyers. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/06/2014)